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Bangladesh judge orders militant held for questioning

Written by: Staff
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DHAKA, Mar 21 (Reuters) A Bangladesh judge ordered a top Islamist militant who has recovered from injuries sustained during his capture in a gun battle to be held for 10 days for questioning, police and court officials said here today.

The court appearance of Siddikul Islam Bangla Bhai, chief of outlawed militant Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh group, had been delayed for two weeks while he underwent treatment for injuries he suffered in his March 6 capture.

''Magistrate Atikur Rahman put him in 10 days remand for interrogation,'' said an official at the court in Mymensingh, 130 km north of Dhaka, where he was captured.

Four days earlier, another top fugitive Islamist, Shayek Abdur Rahman, was detained in the northeastern town of Sylhet.

Shayek gave up without a fight and is believed to have provided information that led to Bangla Bhai's capture.

''We hope Bangla Bhai will disclose important tips for tracking down two more key fugitives, Khaled Saifullah and Mohammad Salahuddin,'' a senior officer of the elite Rapid Action Battalion told Reuters.

They are members of a command council headed by Shayek Abdur Rahman. Five council members, including Shayek and Bangla Bhai, are in custody.

The two groups are fighting for the introduction of Sharia Law in Bangladesh, a predominantly Muslim democracy, and have been blamed for a wave of bombings including suicide attacks that have killed at least 30 people and wounded 150 since last August.

REUTERS SHB BST1657

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